A Sensory Life
My experiences with intuition began at a very young age. My mother made mention of a few haunted houses which we had lived in while I was a baby although I only remember having conscious awareness of seeing and feeling the presence of spirits beginning at the age of four. As I reminisce about my experiences with the spirit realm, I remember that in each instance my hair would stand on end and my body would become rigid, frozen in one spot as they moved around me. This had always scared me and amazingly still does to this day, although I feel better equipped to communicate with them now.
In the beginning I chose not to tell anyone; then when I was old enough to understand what was happening I began to share the bone chilling experiences with those I felt I could trust. Seeing spirits went on for some time without actually knowing what the spirits wanted from me until something shifted within me in my late teens. I had experienced a number of accidents typically spurred on by my brothers. Trauma from those accidents could have triggered something in my brain to act differently, although there is no real way of knowing what it was or which event caused the shift in consciousness. At first I could see the spirits and see their mouths moving but I could not hear any words. Then my perception shifted to seeing them and hearing their words. With years of practice and intuitive development I stopped seeing them and instead could feel them and hear their words. Empathizing with them often meant that I would have to endure their pain and sadness which more often than not, took over my life and tested my resolve.
Empathizing brought bigger issues as I got older. Feeling the energy of the dead wasn’t my only worry. Dealing with the feelings of those living around me brought just as much pain and sadness. I remember my mother telling friends and family that I was a hypochondriac. She said that I was always feeling bad and complaining about something. It wasn’t until my later teens and into my early 20s that those childhood pains made perfect sense. Rather than being a hypochondriac I came to realize that I was highly empathic or intuitive. I remember always feeling that life was a struggle when spirits or other people were around. I felt better on the days when I was able to slink off to sit quietly with the neighbor’s dogs. Spending time out in nature or with my animal friends often made me feel better, until around the age of 9 when deep feelings of sadness wafted through me each time I stopped to pet our neighbor’s dog. She was a beautiful black and white Portuguese Water dog that spent her life chained to her dog house not far from her human family’s residence. Known to be gregarious by nature these water, fun and family-loving dogs are also great with children. Now, imagine taking a dog, that by nature is such a wonderful spirit and confining it, stripping or breaking its spirit by minimizing its social interactions. Wendy, as I remember calling her, looked forward to our daily visits and made the most of our time together but each visit became more difficult for me as my energy became entangled with hers. I felt like she was dying inside. With each visit came deeper sadness until one snowy day she broke free of her chain and go hit by a car. At the exact moment she was hit I was sitting on the floor of our living room watching television with my brothers. My 9year-old body felt the impact and I heard her cry out to me the second the car hit her. She died on my next-door neighbor’s porch with a few 22 bullets in her body from her owner’s gun as my mother drug me barefooted and screaming through the snow toward our house.
At 10 years old I spent the summer on my best friend’s farm playing and helping with their horses, dogs, cats and cows. On one warm summer morning I hung on the barnyard fence watching my bestie and her brother-in-law bottle feed a newborn calf that was unable to nurse from its mother. As I turned my attention away from the soft cuddly nursing calf and on to its mother; a husky bovine bundle of dirt and stink; a dark yet thick meandering pain traveled through the frontal lobe of my brain causing a sick feeling in my stomach. The cow was angry and my body knew it. Sensing something was about to happen, I yelled out to Evelyn to tell her to get out of the barnyard. She turned to look at me, smiled and shrugged as if dismissing my concern just as the mother cow pounced on top of her, striking her in the back of the neck and head, bucking forward and back like an angry bull trying to get a cowboy off of its back. Evelyn’s eyes were as big as saucers as she tried to escape the cows pounding hooves. The pain in my head and the sick feelings that registered within my body tipped me off to what was about to happen but there was nothing I could do to stop it. Fortunately, her brother-in-law jumped in to snatch her out from under the cow hooves just before she was struck again.
In my mid 20s I began working with families and the police finding missing children. In a million years I could not have ever imagined this path for myself. To feel what each victim had gone through in life as well as what they endured during their death experience tarnished any hope or trust I had in humanity. I spent countless hours obsessing over the lives lost, never really feeling as if I had made an ounce of difference. Their experiences flowed through the cells of my body making it difficult to focus or think about living my own life. I spent 3 years lost in sadness and pain, pondering my own mortality because of the deaths of those I was trying to help. Fearing I would lose myself, I chose to step away from this particular work although I quickly learned that there was truly no way to escape. I would have to learn how to use the abilities in a totally different way.
When I shifted my focus from death to healing the living it was 1994. Dad knew of my interest in Shamanism although I never really felt comfortable sharing my experiences with him. Dad had gotten involved in the racing industry in 93 and now that he was anchoring himself into his new position as team owner he invited me to a NASCAR Winston Cup race in Richmond Virginia.
I remember telling him that I had no interested in watching a bunch of grown men chase each other around in a circle for three hours or more, like dogs chasing their tails. I didn’t understand his passion and excitement for it until I accepted that invitation. I took a friend with me and we spent the weekend meeting Dick Trickle, Jimmy Hensley, Rusty Wallace, Sterling Marlin, Dale Earnhardt and many others. It did not take long—I think we had been there a couple of hours and I got caught up in what the team members were feeling. To say that I was caught up, is putting it mildly. I fell head over heels in love with the dynamic energy.
My father’s race hauler was smack dab in the middle of the garage area where all of the action was, so there was no way to avoid the noise or the flare of emotions as things went wrong for the teams. We were up close and personal with the blood, sweat and tears of the car fabricators, engine builders, mechanics, crew chiefs, managers, gas men, tire guys, painters, pit crew and more. Everything they experienced, we experienced. Everything they carried within them-in their own lives-went into the energy of the cars they built and worked on. Essentially each car became an extension of those that created them. Like the mythical story of Frankenstein who was made from the parts of many men and brought to life by lightning or electrocution, each car at that track was a culmination of life experiences and energy-a living mass of molecules, matter and particles-because of the attention given to it by the men that created them.
What happens when one team member is experiencing problems in his or her personal life? As you have probably guessed–all that negative energy affects the car and the rest of the race team and in racing, even the slightest issue can create big problems.
Each team spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and hour upon hour warily getting their cars ready for weekly races. One day while I hung out with my father’s team in their garage stall I backed myself up to lean on the car. The hum and vibration of the engine lulled me into a meditative-like state and I closed my eyes to give them a rest. The engine builder and crew chief were tweaking the jets in the motor in order to pick up the pace, in order to be certain the driver would qualify to run the big race on Sunday. I could hear them talking, mulling over scenarios in order to give the driver what he needed out of the car. I remember thinking about not knowing much about race cars but my lack of knowledge was soon replaced by my desire to help. While thinking about the motor and any potential engine issues, a virtual map of the inner workings of the car appeared in my mind’s eye. Entirely by accident a new world opened to me, creating a huge chasm between what I thought I knew to be true about life and a new unsettling perspective that would fracture any semblance of normal I had experienced previously.
By leaning against the car and focusing on wanting to help the team make the race, the car somehow answered my thoughts. What appeared in my mind’s eye was a picture of the engine linked to a mishmash of electrical wires that ran from the motor, down the center of the car within the driver compartment. My heartbeat quickened as I heard electric-like sparks, which then suddenly faded just as I felt the engine lose power. Being that this was my first experience with seeing, hearing and feeling a race car I did not trust the information, so instead of sharing what I saw and heard I chose to keep the experience to myself. As the team worked harder and faster to get ready I forgot that it had happened. That afternoon the team ran their qualifying round and managed to place at the back of Sunday’s racing field. Making the race calmed everyone’s fears including my own, making it easier to forget what had transpired earlier that day.
Sunday came quickly. It was a sunny but cool morning at Darlington Motor Speedway in South Carolina when driver Ed Barrier took command of the Active Motorsports #32 Winston Cup race car. Team members suited up and headed on track for driver introductions. My father, opting for the solitude of the race hauler to watch the race, handed a headset off to me and motioned for me to put it on so that I could hear the team and driver interactions. I wondered off to find an out-of-the-way spot to watch the race.
Mid way through the race I felt a spike in my energy along with a quickening of my heartbeat. Without provocation I began to hear the same spark-like sound that I had when I was leaning against the race car in the garage area the day before. I started to feel anxious, wondering where the sound was coming from. At one point I got so freaked out by the energy I was feeling I couldn’t swallow the saliva in my mouth. As I heard the noise repeat, I felt the motor lose power. My heart began to race so fast I thought I was going to pass out. Then something within me started putting the pieces together. I realized that the sound had to do with engine power and the energy dying off was the race car losing power. With my finger on the headset, getting ready to key up the mic to tell the driver what it was, I stopped myself. My father would flip his lid if I did that and my input proved to be wrong. Startled and torn by what was happening I began to walk away from the racetrack. Then, as if the Universe could feel my angst, the driver’s excited voice sounded over the headset.
“I’ve lost power and I don’t know why.”
“Try to get her started again,” said the crew chief.
The voices fell silent for a second then the driver keyed the mic.
“Nothing, she won’t start,” the driver insisted as a few race cars passed him on the track as if he was standing still.
At that exact moment a vision of the car map showed up in my mind’s eye again, just like it had done on Saturday before their qualifying run. This time it showed me the same tangle of wires that ran down the center of the car but this time it revealed that they ran into a box positioned to the right of the driver. I could see that a wire had come loose from the power box. For the second time I thought to key up the mic to tell the driver where to look. Apprehension set in again.
This time I feared how the team would react so I hesitated. Realized that by speaking up I might help them finish the race I moved to click in to tell the driver to check for a disconnected wire to the power box and just as I touched the button the driver keyed in and spoke.
“The wire to the power box is disconnected. I got it!” yelled the driver, as he quickly reconnected the wire and fired the engine just in time to finish the race.
So how did this happen? I lean on the car and a map of it shows up in my mind like an X-ray or MRI image. Interestingly enough this was not my first experience I had had with using the technique of psychometry although it was my first truly life enhancing and transformative encounter.